Apple 2.0

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BlackBerry Storm: The reviews are in

November 20, 2008: 10:45 AM ET

BlackBerry Storm (2)The BlackBerry Storm, Verizon (VZ) and RIM's (RIMM) answer to Apple's (AAPL) iPhone, opens like a Broadway show on Friday. So naturally, Thursday's papers and blogs are full of reviews. A sampling of the big ones:

  • Walt Mossberg. The Wall Street Journal. BlackBerry's Storm Presses Into the Touch-Phone Fray: Mixed positive. He likes the high-res camera (which does video), the replaceable battery, the push e-mail, the ability to cut-and-paste, the corporate security features and Verizon's 3G network -- an improvement over AT&T's (T). He misses Wi-Fi, however, and he's not particularly fond of the so-called SurePress touchscreen. "The feature does provide a more reassuring confirmation that a key has been struck or an icon has been clicked than the mere visual feedback one receives from the iPhone. But neither I, nor any of the several BlackBerry addicts I asked to try it out, considered typing on the Storm's keyboard to be very similar to using the keyboard of a traditional full-sized BlackBerry." (link)
  • Joshua Topolsky. Engadget. BlackBerry Storm review: "The selling points are easy: the phone is gorgeous to look at and hold, it's designed and backed by RIM (now almost a household name thanks to their prevalence in the business and entertainment markets), and it's packed with features that, at first glance, make it seem not only as good as the iPhone, but better. The only hitch in this plan is a major one: it's not as easy, enjoyable, or consistent to use as the iPhone, and the one place where everyone is sure they have an upper hand -- that wow-inducing clickable screen -- just isn't all that great." (link)
  • Daniel Dumas. Wired.com. RIM's First Touchscreen Device Almost Eclipses the iPhone: "WIRED Click screen is a revelation for touch compatible devices. Converts iTunes to BlackBerry media without breaking a sweat. Included GSM card means the Storm is a true globetrotter - it can work in virtually any foreign port. Photos, video, and text pop like Ice Cube's AK (on a bad day). Posh fit and finish look rich enough to buy YOU dinner. -- TIRED OS lag on a piece of hardware this gorgeous is unacceptable. Scrolling through menus is jagged, slow, and pokey. Accelerometer sometimes takes a good 5-10 seconds to orient itself. Lack of Wi-Fi is lame. Verizon's totalitarian control over the Storm's OS is even lamer." (link)
  • Yardena Arar. PC World. BlackBerry's Storm: Awkward and Disappointing: "The decision by Research in Motion to differentiate the Storm by giving its capacitive touch screen a mechanical component (the entire screen functions as a button for confirming selections or initiating actions) turns out to be more confusing than helpful. Ultimately, the Storm's touch interface feels like a failed experiment. -- It's too bad, because the Storm has some nice features and makes a great first impression." (link)
  • The Boy Genius. The Boy Genius Report. Verizon BlackBerry Storm review: "The good thing is that this is, afterall, a BlackBerry, and once you get past accepting that there will be some hiccups, it's really not all that bad. It's a great phone, a very good device for email, a really good media player, and a decent web browsing machine. You'll just have to decide what your priorities are in a mobile device and see if the Storms meets that." (link)

Have you weathered the Storm? Tell us what you liked -- or didn't like -- in the comments below.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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